Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Traditions

This poor little blog of mine needs some TLC. Sorry for the long gaps between posts. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things. 
Today I wanted to share some of our favorite summer traditions. I often get many questions regarding all of our summertime fun. It may look like we do a lot and have a lot going on, but we really don't. I like to keep things fairly simple. My biggest tip of any mom is to just plan. Activities with your kids do not need to last hours. Some days 15 minutes is plenty. You have to plan and be organized to have a fun and easy summer. Here are some things that we do to help us with our summer planning.

We make a poster of things we want to do during the summer and hang it up where we will see it everyday. My kids love to check things off and it's nice to look back at the end of summer and see everything that we were able to do together. 
I like to have a summer schedule because while we want to be having a lot of fun, laundry still has to get done. Typically, I plan our activities around my cleaning and laundry schedule (which I typically do on Monday's). Then we are free to leave the house without me having that hanging over my head. Here is what works for our family schedule:

Make Something Monday
Take a Trip Tuesday
Wet and Wild Wednesday
Thinking Thursday
Fabulous Fun Friday
We try to plan our week and activities around this and it seems to work well for us.
I make a Welcome Summer banner for my kids to run through on the last day of school. We love this tradition and it takes minimal effort on my part!
Some years, the kids get surprised with some summertime treats. This year we aren't doing this because the Easter Bunny brought them tons of candy and some outside toys a month ago. Typically I get some new sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water guns, etc. Things that we will be using outside a lot. 
You may have seen this idea floating around the web the last couple of years. I cannot remember where I got this idea, but I love it. I have these 3 jars full of different things for the kids to do during the summer. What I put inside the jars changes every year as things with our family change. This year we are having a baby the beginning of August, so I had to adjust our day trips and activities for a very pregnant body. I use ideas I get off the web, ideas from my files, or things I come up with out of my own little head. I have the kids draw our activities for the upcoming week on Sunday evenings. Then they know what to look forward to and I know if I need to get supplies for a certain craft or how to plan for whatever little adventure we will be embarking on. This is probably our favorite summer tradition. 
 I got this idea from Studio 5 last summer and we had a blast doing it! I am lucky to have good readers, but we had so much fun hanging up this bookshelf and filling it with all the books my kids read last summer. It's a great motivation tool for summer reading programs. We also always pick a book or two or three to read together during the summer. Last year I read The Wizard of Oz to my kids and this year we are going to read The Little House on the Prairie Series. We have devotional every morning with scripture study and prayer, and so it is easy to throw in a chapter or two from an additional book during our devotional time. 
Those are some of the things that we do to keep our summers interesting and organized! I feel like summer is a special time to just play with my kids and I want them to grow up with fond memories of our summers together. Hopefully this gets your brain spinning from some new summer traditions in your house.

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